Only a small percentage of older students in Hong Kong enjoy or have an interest in maths lessons, according to research conducted by the Chinese University.
About 9,000 students from five different school years were interviewed. Around 65 per cent of eight-year-olds said they liked maths, but only 31 per cent of 18-year-olds said they did so.
Students said that they found maths difficult because teaching was boring and the curriculum complicated.
Researcher Dr Wong Ngai-ying said: "We found students want a deep understanding of how mathematical formulae come about and are applied. The trouble is, teachers underestimate this and ask students only to remember. This is also related to the rigid format of homework, tests and the exam system which require standardised answers."